College, NBA, NBA Draft / Mar 21, 2013 / 9:30 am

The 15 Must-Watch NBA Draft Prospects In The NCAA Tournament

Cody Zeller

Cody Zeller (photo. IU Athletics)

Finally, it’s time for March Madness. Everyone is online filling out brackets, looking up the best players and trying to figure out who’s going to win the tourney. That also means that the NBA playoffs are only one month away, which also means that the NBA Lottery is coming up soon too.

There are plenty of prospects in the tournament that are definitely worth a look or two. If you haven’t kept up with your NCAA prospect scouting, don’t worry. I have you covered here. Listed below are some must-see prospects that will be playing in the NCAA Tournament. If you know your team is headed for the lottery, this is a must read for you. Even if your team is selecting at the end of the first round, there are still some diamonds in the rough.

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CODY ZELLER, Indiana
Projection: top-three pick
Key Stats: 16.9 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 7.2 FTA, 75 percent FT, 57 percent FG
Zeller brings something to the table that teams just can’t coach. Teams can’t teach players how to be tall and Zeller has been tall for quite some time. Being a seven-footer boosts his draft stock already. On top of that, Zeller is as good as advertised on the offensive side of the ball. He’s just as fluid on his feet as his brother and he gets up and down the floor. He’s a great finisher at the rim and also has a midrange jumper to go with that. He’s great at getting to the line and very fundamentally sound in transition. He’s the best in the NCAA at rim running and that breaks down the defense in transition more than anything else.

SHABAZZ MUHAMMAD, UCLA
Projection: top-three pick
Key Stats: 17.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 40 percent 3FG, 44 percent FG
Shabazz Muhammad is pegged as a top-three pick in this year’s NBA Draft. He’s not a player who has a defined playing style, but what we do know about him is that he’s a scorer. He likes shooting and he makes them 44 percent of the time. That isn’t exceptionally great for someone who has such a high ceiling, but as his shot selection improves so will his shot percentage. He’s has the tools to be a very good defender on the next level if he becomes committed to that and is also a capable spot-up shooter. He isn’t really an adept ballhandler yet, but at his position he doesn’t really need to be. He’s very fluid off of the ball and is able to create with his feet rather than his hands. He also has a very pure stroke — he’s shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc on the season.

OTTO PORTER, Georgetown
Projection: top-five pick
Key Stats: 16.3 ppg, 48 percent FG, 42 percent 3FG, 7.4 rpg, 2.7 apg
Otto Porter brings everything that you want in a wing player. He’s 6-8 with a 7-1 wingspan, a very capable defender already and he’s very fluid off of the ball. He’s a great finisher on the inside and he shoots the ball well from the outside as well. Like Muhammad, he isn’t a very good creator off of the dribble, but he’s a good post player and can also pass out of the post. Coming from a team like Georgetown, you know Porter is going to come into the NBA with very sound fundamentals. There’s a good chance the Hoyas make a deep run in March, and Porter’s draft stock reaps the benefits.

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